Find out about the initiatives of SussexFood and what it is doing to contribute to healthier living and a sustainable future.
SussexFood regularly looks at ways to reduce its impact on the planet.
The University uses local suppliers for most of its food, including:
- Blakes, for meat
- Real Patisserie, for breads
- Munneries, for fruit and vegetables.
We evaluate all suppliers based on their sustainability and company ethics. Where possible we look to provide products with fair or direct trade, soil association or organic accreditation and favour Certified B Corporation companies (businesses that meet standards defined by B Corps to balance profit and purpose). Two examples of these kinds of businesses, both on campus, are Toast Ale and Change Please.
Our climate promise ensures that our company fleet vehicles are switched to be electric by 2024. We recently received a new electric delivery van.
SussexFood is part of a bigger group that has made a climate commitment for 2030 – find out more about the Compass Group climate promise.
The University embarked on a plastic-free pledge at the Attenborough Centre and has also completed the transition to plastic-free in the Conference Centre.
Sustainable restaurant ratings
SussexFood is a proud member of the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
SussexFood gained Sustainable Restaurant Association 3-star accreditation for the first time in 2019, based on their three pillars of Sourcing, Society and Environment. We retained our 3-star accreditation when we resubmitted our documents in January 2022.
Giving plastic a second life
We take part in TerraCycle’s crisp packet recycling scheme, earning points that can be redeemed for donations to good causes.
As of April 2022, we have collected 20,000 crisp packets from across campus and saved them from landfill. The crisp packets get turned into material that can be used to make furniture.
We also collect and recycle all parts of stubbed-out cigarettes, which is then transformed into plastic lumber and boards to be used for signs and table tops, with any remaining tobacco or paper composted.
Saving meals from the bin
We have been working in partnership with Too Good to Go for over a year and have saved 1,000 meals from the bin. You download the app, decide on your favourite food and go rescue it.
We have also been partnered with Olio since 2019. This means any unsold sandwiches, baguettes or toasties are collected by a volunteer and given to local families.
Sponsoring water wells
We have sponsored the opening of three water wells, providing clean drinking water to people in Uganda and India.
This was made possible by our campus community buying Life Water from our shops and cafes. Life Water has a longstanding partnership with Drop4Drop to help run projects in developing countries.
Tap water for all
We subscribe to the Refill scheme throughout our campus. Reusable bottles can be filled with tap water in any of our cafes.
First to process food waste
In March 2020, the University of Sussex was the first higher education institution in the UK to install an aerobic digester – a bio processor that turns food waste, plate waste, takeaway cutlery and containers, including coffee cups, into fertiliser.
This stops compostable food and packaging going to landfill.
The food and compostable waste produced around Bramber House (the centre of our catering operation) is processed through the machine and the contents are reduced by 75% during its 24-hour journey from food to substrate. The substrate can either be used as a soil enrichment source or a biomass fuel source. The grounds team are making good use of it on our campus flower beds.
SussexFood has its own Fairtrade product range, called EatFair, mainly focused on muffins, cookies and cakes in University food outlets.
For every EatFair item you buy, 5p is donated to projects empowering farmers in Uganda become sustainable in their production of coffee and food crops.
The donations help the Semliki co-operative in western Uganda improve the quality of its coffee, so it can command a premium price.
As well as receiving seeds and tools, the farmers get expert training, on-site technical support and valuable UK market insight.
Growers are also encouraged to carry out first-stage sorting at microstations to improve coffee quality.
This work means the EatFair team can help the co-operative develop from producing industrial-grade coffee to specialist single-origin coffee.
Health and nutrition
SussexFood has a range of food items analysed by expert nutritionists to confirm they meet high nutrition standards.
The F.U.E.L logo identifies these dishes on our menus and in the Uni Food Hub app.
Download the Uni Food Hub app and select the Discover tab to learn more about foods that are good for your mind and body or better for the planet.